Thursday, April 2, 2020

DIY Dog Gate

As I mentioned in my entryway organizer post, the door from the garage into the house opens into a tiny entryway which is at the top of the basement stairs. 

My dog always greets me in this entryway. To ensure she doesn't fall down the stairs, I placed a baby gate.

The gate served its safety purpose, but it was ugly. It was also annoying because I had to remove the gate and set it aside every time I needed to go down the stairs. I wanted a gate I could simply swing open, but I faced a challenge. The gate could not swing into the entryway because it would block the entry on one side or the other. Therefore, the gate had to swing into the stairwell. But it could not swing to the left side because that's where the handrail is located, and it could not swing to the right side because there is a horizontal "shelf" sort of structure in the way. With some thought and the help of Google, I came up with a solution that would allow the gate to swing to the right.

First, I built the gate. I cut a piece of MDF to the appropriate size and then attached 1x3 and 1x4 boards to match the board and batten style of the entryway organizer.

Then I implemented the solution which allows the gate to swing to the right. This solution is... a board! ;) It's a 1x6 board which functions as a sort of gate post. The board is attached to the wall (to the door trim, actually), and the gate hinges are attached to the board.

The gate swings open to the right.

As with the entryway organizer, this was a "Why didn't I do this ages ago?" project. Instead of having to remove and replace an awkward tension gate, I simply have to swing a gate open or closed. And it looks infinitely better!
ugly, awkward plastic gate
not-ugly, easy-to-use wood gate

To finish the entryway makeover, I replaced the old door trim with new, wider trim in a simple style.


  1. OMG that's brilliant and so much easier to use (and prettier!) than the baby gate. Google comes through again!!!

  2. I use a similar ugly plastic gate for my minpin. He has learned to ram his skull into it till it finally falls over. This may be a better solution.

    1. Ha ha! They can be impressively persistent.

  3. That's amazing, I'm in awe of your ingenuity! Also, it looks professionally done, so kudos to you!

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